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The ontogeny of spontaneous skin potential responses in kittens.

B. Delerm, M. Delsaut, E. Freixa, I. Baque, J.-C. Roy


The evolution of frequency and amplitude of spontaneous skin potential responses (SPRs) was studied in kittens from birth to 30 days. Results showed that: i) at birth, electrodermal activity is very low, and significantly lower than in adults; ii) the evolution of electrodermal activity is rapid, the adult level being reached by the end of the third week. Frequency and amplitude evolve at approximately the same rate; iii) SPRs recorded on the forepaw were significantly more frequent and larger than those for the hindpaw up to 13 days; iv) changes in electrodermal activity as a function of sleep and waking showed that sleep is characterized by a moderate decrease of SPR amplitude and by a pronounced decrease in SPR frequency. The results are discussed in terms of maturation of the central nervous system.

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